Over the past few decades, Gilbert has arrived almost every day to the 7-Eleven in Fisherville to help out the employees. According to the article, he goes to the convenience store six days a week at the crack of dawn. The only reason he doesn’t come in on Sundays is because he attends church.
For Gilbert, waking up that early isn’t a problem. He has been doing it for years since he used to work for the U.S. Postal service. He claims it became a habit that he never grew out of.
The only thing Gilbert asks for in return is a free cup of coffee and some bananas. He doesn’t get a paycheck. As for why he does it? He told the outlet that he genuinely cares about the people in his community, and he likes to make sure they get a good start to their day.
“It’s just seeing the people and talking to them. I know a lot about them and what’s going on in their families. You learn a lot about people who come in here, like what their kids have accomplished.”
When he goes to work, Gilbert assembles cardboard pizza boxes and ensures the drinks inside the refrigerators have their labels facing outward. He doesn’t make the coffee, but he does keep an eye on the carafe levels to make sure they’re always full.
Store employees consider him part of the family, and many customers are fond of Gilbert — who they call Mr. G — as well.
“I love this guy. He is what we all hope to become. He’s a well-respected community leader,” a customer named Rick Sizemore said.
Gilbert also keeps in contact with the store’s owner, Tim Swortzel. If Swortzel doesn’t hear from him and Gilbert didn’t previously indicate that he would be out of town, he goes to his house to make sure everything is okay.
Sadly, Gilbert’s wife passed away a few years ago, but he does have a son and grandson that live nearby. He hopes to make it to a ripe old age of 100, and he’s not far off. In a little over four years, Gilbert will be able to call himself a centenarian.
“The doctor told me, ‘If you eat three good meals a day and exercise, you’ll live to be 100,'” said the 95-year-old.